The peace of God

One night I had a dream that I went to go see Jesus…

It was back in Bible times, and I was collecting food to take with me for the journey (like the kid with the loaves and fishes☺️).  I hurriedly packed up and left the house.  I had one goal – If I could just make eye contact with Jesus, then He would know how much I loved Him.  I knew there was going to be a crowd, so I didn’t have to talk to Him…I just needed Him to see my love for him.

When I arrived, Jesus was standing with a small crowd of people around him.  I walked up the side of a small hill next to where he was standing so that I could see him (I know, sounds similar to Zacchaeus 🙂) and waited for Jesus to look in my direction.

After a few seconds, Jesus looked up at me and smiled so warmly!  And in that moment, I knew that He knew how much I loved Him.  I know that He saw into my heart and the love I have for a Him!

All of a sudden, I was standing right in front of the King of kings!  He was so happy that I was there with Him.  I just remember Him smiling so big.😁  He talked with me for a while (I wish so much that I could remember what He said).  He was so kind, and I know I was smiling so much!

I then remember sitting on the ground.  Jesus came over and sat with me.  He put both arms tightly around me and just held me in His warm embrace.  I remember thinking about all the cares and struggles of this life and how they were no more.  I couldn’t even feel them because the peace that I felt in that moment was something I  couldn’t explain.  Jesus’ loving, powerful arms were around me, and it was like the worries of this life were no match!  They were nothing!  The peace I felt was like a thick blanket enveloping me and protecting my heart and my mind.  My focus was on Jesus, and I was at rest in His love.

When I woke up, I remember opening my eyes and still feeling that peace.  It was surrounding me.  I truly have never felt it like that before.  I remember laying in bed and thinking how I didn’t want to move.  In that moment, I truly felt “the peace that passes all understanding.”~Philippians 4:7  I had gone to see Jesus, and I had spent time with Him, talking with Him, and He was lavishing His love and peace on me.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  

This Christmas season, I don’t know what struggles or trials you might be facing.  You may be desperately in need of God’s peace in your life.    Well, I know One who can give you that peace that passes all understanding!  Seek out after Jesus in daily prayer and petition with thanksgiving!  He is so near!  He knows every hurt, every pain and every sorrow, and He wants to give you His perfect peace which will “guard your hearts and your minds…”  We may think we can do it all on our own, but our minds are a battlefield, and our hearts are easily led astray , so let’s let Jesus’ peace guard them!

John 14:27 ~ “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  

If you are struggling today, run to the arms of Jesus Christ our Savior!  Speak to Him, offer up your petitions, thank Him for His love and mercy.  Set your mind on Him, and He will keep you in perfect peace!  ❤️

Isaiah 26:3 ~ “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  

Psalm 16:11 ~ “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” 

Be blessed today!! 😄🙏🏻

 

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The best day of my professional singing career…

I’ve been a soloist for church, choral performances, princess parties, professional classical gigs, and operas.  It has been an exciting ride and a ton of fun!  I’ve cherished EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!

But looking back so far, the best day of my professional singing career to date was a  little church recital I gave a few years back.

I sang about 5 pieces, and they were all some of my favorites!  I did some classical, Broadway and of course, a Sandi Patty! 😄❤️ (Love her!)  I still hear my imperfections, so I rarely listen to it to be honest – the nature of being a vocal perfectionist.😬  But I felt like I was on top of the world when I was performing!  When I belted out those show tunes, I imagined myself dressed in a long ball gown at Carnegie Hall with an orchestra playing behind me!  And I felt God smiling so big as He watched His daughter sing her heart out!

Although very small, it was my most memorable performance to date because I was FINALLY able to perform some wonderful Broadway selections!  That is what I adore singing!  It’s been a dream of mine to be in a musical since I was a young girl.  I have auditioned for musicals in the past only to be turned down time and time again.  It becomes discouraging, and I wonder if in fact I”m actually any good…maybe I”m doing something wrong.  But I keep auditioning anyway! 💪🏻

My dream finally came true last year when I landed a supporting role in the show, “Into the Woods,” and although small, I cherished every single moment that I was on that stage (or in the tree I should say☺️).

“I could perform every day for a living!” I once said to my husband.

“You would get so sick of it.” He said.

“No, I know I wouldn’t.  I would love every single moment!” 😍

Maybe someday I will!! 🙃

Click the link to listen to a few of my little church recital pieces!  Have a blessed day, and keep following your dreams! 💕🎤

http://www.kerrywallenlerew.com/media.html

(If you don’t have sound cloud, there is an option to listen in your browser!)

 

 

Breaking Down the Walls in Our Hearts

Growing up in a big family with 12 kids (7 girls and 5 boys), you kinda have to sometimes be a little loud to be heard.🙉  The boys are all more like my dad – calm and even keel whereas the sisters (taking after my mom) are like a squad of peppy cheerleaders – (loud, crazy, laughter, being silly).  That’s our family dynamic, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! 😄

Growing up like this has made me into a fun-loving people person!  I LOVE to be in a room with a ton of people chatting it up!  I mean, whether it’s across the table or even yelling across the room.  (My husband is the COMPLETE opposite☺️).  There is nothing more fun than hearing about people’s lives and experiences, sharing laughter and happiness!  I get so much joy when people feel like they can open up to me!  However, there have been many times when I have poured out to people in Christ’s love and have gotten nothing in return.  OUCH!  For me, that is like stepping on a thorn.  It’s so painful 😖.  In some instances, I’ve spend years trying to connect with certain people in my life, but each time getting shot down.

“Why do they not want my friendship?” I would ask myself.

It’s so easy to want to become hard inside and put up walls.  Oh man, I have fought with God many many times about the walls that I “justifiably” felt like I needed to put up so that I wouldn’t get hurt all over again by people.

“I’ll be nice to them, but I just won’t try anymore, God.  I’m done!  They ignore me. They respond with hurtful comments.  I feel like the most insignificant person on the planet.  So why should I even try anymore?  I can’t handle feeling like this anymore.  Isn’t that a good reason to give them the cold shoulder, God??  Why can’t I give them the same treatment they are giving me?  I’m just trying to protect myself.”

And after this long, tearful conversation with Jesus, I feel his comforting arms around me, and I feel Him gently speaking to my heart to, “Get rid of all bitterness…” ~ Ephesians 4:31.  I was putting up walls around my heart, but in doing so, I was creating bitterness, anger, and resentment.  Not good!  It’s good to guard your heart, but another thing to allow these awful things take control of it.  Love cannot occupy the spot where bitterness inhabits.

The Apostle Paul was imprisoned and came into contact with people who did not treat him well. (Phil1:12-21) He could have said, “That’s it!  I’m not even gonna bother with these people.”  But if he did that, then the gospel may have never gotten to Caesar’s house.  The jailers must have seen something different about Paul.  They must have seen his love and kindness towards them even when they were treating him so wrongly.  Paul refused to allow bitterness to surround his heart.

I still have days where I have to fight to keep the bitter walls from going up.  So, how do I get rid of my bitterness? I remember what Jesus did for me on the cross and His FAITHFUL love for me no matter what! ❤️ I remember those days when I selfishly ignored Him, and how He kept relentlessly coming after me.  I have to remember that it’s not about me, but about Jesus!  It’s freely giving grace to people because God has freely given it to me.   Whatever kind of person He places in my life is where I need to be fruitful!  Even when the pain of rejection is so deep, we must receive God’s grace, and lavish it on the most unlovable and hurtful people in our lives.

So then…

What if God places us in certain situations, brings us to difficult people and even allows us to endure some suffering for such a time for a very specific reason?  What if God knows that that person may need me in their life to show Jesus’ unconditional love?  And what if God wants to change me through this person by revealing the places of my heart that are still a work in progress?  And then, what if God wanted to show how deep His unconditional love is by teaching me how to unconditionally love others? 😄💕

…Some things to ponder today!

Be blessed today!!

 

Look for my upcoming blog about the peace of Christ…”One night, I had a dream that I went to go see Jesus…” ❤️

 

 

We are always on God’s mind!

I read a great quote today that said, “…the next time you open your scriptures and a particular verse stands out to you, know that God is reaching out to you.”  This is so true!

Yesterday, as I was reading in Psalm 139, two verses really jumped out at me.      Psalm 139: 17-18 ~ “How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would out number the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.”

The other day after my husband came home, he said to me (during one of our conversations), “I think about you all the time.”

Those words hit the gong in my heart, and I felt so loved!😍 “Really???” I asked like a little school girl in love.  And of course, I instinctively threw my arms around him!  I felt so loved.

Matthew 10:29-30 says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet, not one of them will fall to the ground without your father’s care.  And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”

I have an almost 5 month old daughter, and I love her with all my heart!!…but I would not sit and count the hairs on her head just so I could know that about her☺️. But God does care to know about us like that.  We are constantly on his mind! It’s so amazing to know this, but do we really think about it?  Do we ever just be still and know that He is God?

“Be still and know that I am God” ~Psalm 46:10

Take a moment and just think about your day and all that you’ve done, said, pondered, worried about, where you went, etc…

With my finite mind, I try to imagine God so intently watching, listening and thinking about my every move.  And notice that I said, “and thinking.”  We can look and listen to someone talk without really “thinking” about what they are saying.  I’m so guilty of this!  But God does all three ALL the time!

Such love our God has for us.  This Christmas season, I’ve asked the Lord to really show me a closer glimpse of His love towards me.  I want to understand it more and more.  The Apostle Paul wanted us to understand more and more of God’s love as he tells us in Ephesians 3:16-19.  I want to be still ponder the wonderful truth that I’m on God’s mind because He loves me!

Psalm 136:26 ~ “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” ❤️

 

The Lord spoke two words to me.

It was just another ordinary day, or so I thought.

I’m a stay at home mom to the most beautiful 4 month old baby girl, and I LOVE it!! 😄💕 She is such a wonderful added joy in our lives, and God just blessed our socks off when she came along!

Mom life is super busy (feeding, changing diapers, making bottles, rocking, laundry, dinners, grocery shopping, house work, etc…), so time with the Lord had been kinda pushed to the back burner a lot of days I’m ashamed to admit.😕  I read a devotional right before bed, but I’m so exhausted that I many times fall asleep right before I get to the end of it.  When I do have a free moment to myself, the only thing I wanna do a lot of times is lay down, put on the tv and scroll through facebook (come on…you know where I’m coming from🙋🏼😳 lol).

In my innermost heart, I want to spend more time with God, and when I start to really feel distressed, I do get on my knees and really seek His face.  It’s then that I do make the time.  But why does it take having a super rough day/week to bring me to God’s loving arms??  Daily I can feel my flesh waring with my spirit. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”~Matt 26:41

So, back to that ordinary (or so I thought) day…

I’m in the kitchen, and I begin to sing one of my favorite worship songs, Saving Grace  by Hillsong.  The words and melody are just so beautifully written.  I began to sing, “Night and day, I seek your face…”  And before I could get to the second line of the song, I heard in my heart, “Do you?

(pause)

I couldn’t sing any further.  I knew it was the Lord.  He wasn’t at all mean or angry when he spoke to me.  It was a gentle two word question straight to my heart, and all I could say was, “No, Lord…You are right.  I don’t.”

There I was, belting out that beautiful worship melody, when I wasn’t really contemplating the meaning of what I was singing.  But even further, the Lord showed me that I was indeed leaving Him on the back burner in my daily life.  I don’t seek Him night AND day (on a consistent basis).  Yet, I NEED Him on a consistent basis night AND day.  My days run so much smoother and easier when I seek His face, so why don’t I?

I was watching a tv show where the mom was putting together a care package for her daughter who was off at college.  On a pack of colorful pencils, the mom had the words, “call me, please” enscribed to lovingly remind her daughter that she wants to hear from her.  When I watched the mom smile and pack the pencils into the box, I couldn’t help but think of how much more God loves us and wants to hear from us just like a loving parent.  He wants to help us in our times of need and bless us.  But even more importantly, He deserves our worship because He’s God.  Period.

Another thing I realized was that we can get in the habit of just “singing” worship songs without really thinking about what we are actually singing about or who we’re singing to.  And in that moment, I realized just how closely the eyes of the Lord are watching me and how closely the ears of the Lord are listening to what I am saying/and (or) singing.  The Lord wanted to open my eyes and show me how our worship can become insincere if we aren’t careful.  Yes, I may have had good intentions singing a song I knew had worshipful lyrics in it, but I wasn’t actually doing what the song was saying.  And I thank God for pointing that out to me as difficult as it was to hear.

You know, God could have made us robots with no brain that are only programmed to praise and worship without any thought of what we are saying, but He didn’t!  He wanted to make us humans who want to love Him, who want to commune with and have a deep relationship with Him, and so He comes after us with a passionate love.  He hopes that we’ll see His love towards us and respond back with sincere loving worship! 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” ❤️  God is so ready to speak to us if we would just take the time to listen.

I’m still not where I want to be yet with my time with the Lord, but I am a work in progress. 😊 My times of worship have become much more intimate and beautiful as I contemplate how the Lord is with me, just like He promises.  My heart truly desires to give God my most sincere worship, and I pray it gets better and better! I am so thankful for those two words He spoke to me that day!

Lamentations 3:22-23 ~ “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassion never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” ❤️

 

 

 

 

The e-Harmony Date That Became My Forever!❤️ pt.1

I had an e-harmony account for a few years, but I had turned off my “paying” membership because, at the time, I was attending college in TN.  I didn’t want to move to TN forever.

So, I graduated and moved home to MD for a few months to save up money.  My older sister suggested, “you should do the free trial e-harmony thing!” I had forgotten that I still had a dormant account but just wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again.  Who wants to meet your husband online??? That’s not romantic…

Or so I thought…

So, she convinced me, and I tapped back in to my account.  Because I wasn’t paying, I couldn’t see people’s pictures.  I started the “free trial.”  Two days later, I get a message from this 26 year old guy named Tom.  He was a high school music teacher and lived an hour away from me (that’s all I was allowed to see of his profile).

Wow! He’s a music person…I’m a music person!  I wondered what he looked like.  We started communicating through the free trial (which really only was like multiple choice questions – they don’t tell you that part🤔).  We got all the way up to the actual “communicating” part which is where you can send private messages back and forth, but to do that, you have to pay for it…yeah, e-harmony, not quite “free”😒

Anyways…I was willing to pay to get to know him more, but I needed to know what he looked like first because let’s face it…ya gotta be attracted to the person! LoL 😉  I had some clues to try and find him online.

I knew: – The county he lived

– He was a high school music teacher

– His name is Tom.

I went on a hunt.  I googled every high school in that county (which was like 20 or so), and I went to every school website to try and find a Tom, high school music teacher.  The very last one I tried…there he was! Oh, he was so cute! 😊 Blond hair, big smile, confident looking.  And there was his full name!  So, I found him on Facebook, but his account was private.

I needed to go on a date with this man…😊

Part 2 coming soon!

A Great Devotional When You’re on the Run!

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Now, I know that may sound bad – “on the run” devotional.  We should always try to make time to spend with the Lord without being rushed.

But…sometimes, it happens and we are being rushed out the door in 15-20 min, but we still want to be encouraged and edified from God’s Word.  When this happens to me, I grab my Our Daily Bread booklet.  (I also use it when I’m not on the run as well!😄)

I love this devotional booklet for a number of reasons:

  1.  It’s small enough that I can grab it and put it into my purse if I’m really on the run! 🏃🏼💨
  2. It has encouraging real stories and testimonies of God’s faithfulness!🙌🏻
  3. It has a key Bible verse about what the devotional is about as well as a passage of scripture that you can look up and read in reference to the devotion (which is my favorite part:). I love that they give you more than just one verse to study.
  4. It’s free!!!! You can go to their website and request it by mail, or you can get the app on your iPhone.  You can also just go to their website and read the devotional there!👍🏻

The people who put this devotional together are just amazing, and I have been blessed and encouraged so many times!  I hope you will be too!

Here is the link to their website:

http://www.ourdailybread.org